Lions Swept by No. 17 BYU
LMU played the first two sets close, but could not avoid the sweep.
Nov. 3, 2012
PROVO, Utah - The LMU women's volleyball team (15-11, 6-7 WCC) played a pair of hard-fought sets early on Saturday afternoon, but had things unravel in the third en route to being swept by No. 17 BYU (23-2, 11-2 WCC) by scores of 26-24, 28-26, 25-13. The previous four matches between the two teams went to five sets, with LMU dropping all four.
LMU did manage to limit the nation's leading team in terms of attack percentage to a .248 clip, but the Lions hit only .132 on their side of the net. Junior Kathleen Luft led the Lions with 12 kills while Litara Keil hit .360 with 10 kills and three block assists. Freshman Hannah Tedrow managed a match-high tying 35 assists in the loss.
Alexa Gray led all players on the attack, posting 16 kills on 31 swings for a .355 hitting percentage for BYU. Jennifer Hamson also brought her "A" game, teaming 11 kills with three of BYU's seven aces and eight block assists. The Cougars finished the match with 10 total team blocks.
In a close set that saw seven tie scores and one lead change, LMU hit .222 behind six kills from Luft and five more from Keil. Gray came out blazing for BYU, posting nine kills on 16 swings with only two errors. After playing even to 11, BYU scored four of the next five points to force a Lion timeout at 15-12. The Lions responded well out of the break, cutting the lead to one at 17-16 before eventually working back to even at 19 on a BYU attack error. The two teams traded blows to 23 as BYU called its second timeout. LMU spoiled the first set point chance for BYU out of the break, but the Cougars fed Gray at 25-24, receiving Gray's ninth and final kill of the period to take the set.
Both offenses stumbled a bit in the second as LMU hit .073 and allowed just a .174 clip from the 17th-ranked team in the nation. Despite forcing extra points in the set, LMU never led en route to dropping the period. BYU came out strong, scoring five of the first six points en route to eventually claiming a 14-10 advantage on a Ciara Parker service ace that forced a Lion timeout. The break served the Lions well as they responded with three straight points to cut the deficit to one at 14-13. LMU managed to scratch back to even at 19 as the two teams continued to alternate points from 23-23 to 26-26. Setter Heather Hannemann, who finished with 35 assists, took control of the set from there, feeding Gray for her fifth kill before serving-up an ace to earn the set.
The Cougar offense showed why it entered the week as the top team in the nation in terms of hitting percentage in the third, hitting a blistering .500 as a team while holding LMU to a measly .071 clip on the other side of the net. Hamson posted six kills on seven swings without an error to lead the way for the Cougars. She also posted all three of her service aces in the final set. Just like the previous two sets, the finale proved close early on. Knotted at nine points, BYU went on a three-point run to force a Lion timeout at 12-9. That lead eventually stretched to 18-10 as the Cougars scored six straight from 12-10. A kill from senior Kenna Crouse stopped the run, but BYU responded with another six-point swing to force match point at 24-11. Overall, BYU scored 15 of the 17 points from 9-9 to 24-11. While LMU managed to waste two match point chances, Kimberly Dahl eventually connected on her third kill of the set to end the match and complete the sweep.
LMU will return to action on Thursday when it hosts Pepperdine at 7 p.m. That match will be part of the Wells Fargo PCH Cup and will serve as LMU's Senior Day.